In Virginia, theft charges have the potential to carry serious implications. Prince William County theft penalties could also have lifelong consequences and seeking the counsel of a legal professional may be beneficial for your case. Contact a qualified theft attorney as soon as possible that could help thwart potential consequences.
Jail time may be a more serious penalty sought for a theft charge, however, there are other consequences that could stem from an alleged theft. Some of which are:
The defendant may also be banned from transacting with that plaintiff again for multiple years. Future theft charges may also be more severe if someone has prior theft convictions. If convicted of theft, the maximum sentence could be 20 years in prison and a $2,500 fine, plus restitution to the plaintiff.
In Virginia, a misdemeanor theft charge could carry up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine, plus restitution to the plaintiff. Felony theft charges could carry the harsher Prince William County theft penalties of jail sentences of up to 20 years as well as restitution and criminal fines.
Prior criminal convictions, particularly if they were theft–related, may worsen the defendant’s chances of getting a bond pending trial. They could also heighten the sentence that the defendant may receive if convicted of the new charge.
Depending on the number and type of prior convictions, they could also enhance the charge from a felony to misdemeanor. Prior convictions could even be used as evidence against the defendant to attack the credibility of a case at trial.
In instances in which an alleged theft is the defendant’s first offense, a judge may be more likely to be light on sentencing. Theft probation may include enrollment in a shoplifting program or completion of community service hours, in some cases both may be awarded. If a first offense is particularly minor in nature, some judges may place defendants on this kind of supervision for a number of months and then dismiss the charge if the defendant successfully complies with supervision.
If the defendant has already paid restitution to the plaintiff or returned the property by the time of trial or sentencing, these alternative outcomes could be more likely to occur. Judges and prosecutors may be more sympathetic towards property that appears to have been taken out of a sense of necessity rather than a luxury.
If charged with theft you should contact a skilled criminal lawyer as soon as possible that could help explain charges and negotiate on your behalf.
A Virginia based defense attorney may be useful when the evidence against a defendant is complicated or involves multiple witnesses. Defense attorneys could be advisable for people who want to try and arrange alternative Prince William County theft penalties or avoid harsh ones for their case.
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